‘Robinson: The Journey’ Gets Motion Controls, Debuts On Vive

In July 2015, Crytek revealed that it was developing a VR game called Robinson: The Journey following positive feedback from the Return to Dinosaur Island VR demos that the company built to show off Cryengine’s VR capabilities. Shortly after the announcement, Tom’s Hardware had the chance to speak with David Bowman, Crytek’s Director of Production, and he explained that Crytek was working with Sony, Oculus, and HTC/Valve to help bring Robinson: The Journey to all three platforms. But in October that year, Crytek announced that the game would come to PSVR and stopped talking about other platforms.

Robinson: The Journey arrived for PSVR in the fall of 2016 shortly after Sony released the headset, and the platform enjoyed several months of exclusivity. In December 2016, Crytek finally announced that Robinson: The Journey would be available for Oculus Rift in January, though, the company missed that window by a couple of weeks. The game debuted on Oculus Rift in February.

For more than a year, Crytek remained tight-lipped about its progress with the HTC Vive version of the game. The company hasn’t said anything about HTC’s platform since we spoke with Bowman in 2015, and given the developer's financial struggles, we weren't entirely sure it would follow through with its plan to release Robinson: The Journey on the HTC Vive.

Crytek developed Robinson: The Journey as a seated VR experience that you control with a gamepad, which works well for PSVR and Oculus Rift owners, but the HTC Vive doesn’t include a gamepad, and Vive owners are accustomed to using motion controllers to interact with the game. To make the game more suitable for the HTC Vive VR system, Crytek went back to work and redesigned the title with proper motion controls.

“We are very excited to be bringing Robinson to a new platform and to introduce Vive owners to the mysterious planet of Tyson III,” said Producer Fatih Özbayram. “The game fully supports Vive’s motion controllers, and we’ve mapped a wide range of actions to player’s hand movements which delivers a new, really immersive way to experience the game.”

Crytek released the HTC Vive compatible version of Robinson: The Journey today on Steam. If you own the game on Steam for Oculus Rift, you should receive an update the next time you log in that will add HTC Vive and motion controller support. Oculus Rift owners also get a treat with the new version of Robinson: The Journey. In addition to mapping controls for the Vive wands, Crytek enabled full Oculus Touch support (not just gamepad emulation) for the new update, which is also available on the Oculus Store.

Crytek didn’t say anything about including Move support to the PSVR version, but the game relies on thumbstick locomotion to navigate the world, which the move controllers lack. If our hunch about Sony’s new controller pans out, maybe we’ll see motion control support in the PSVR version of Robinson: The Journey later.

Robinson: The Journey is available for $40 on Steam and the Oculus Store. The PSVR version of the game sells for $50.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.